Where Does Crystal Meth Come From? Sanofi-Aventis!

Last Updated Jan 27, 2010 12:55 PM EST

Two people pleaded guilty in federal court in a conspiracy to steal 1,000 pounds of pseudoephedrine from a Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) plant in Kansas City in an armed robbery gone wrong that has been dubbed the "Ocean's 11 of Meth."

Garland Duane Hankins, who worked for a business removed pseudoephedrine waste from Sanofi, admitted to stealing the chemical -- which can be used to create crystal meth -- for a decade and selling it for $3,000 to $10,000 per pound.

The scheme netted $40 million in meth sales, say prosecutors, who indicted 22 people connected with it.

The plot came to a head on Super Bowl Sunday of 2007, when James Robert Everson and his crew decided that killing the goose -- a Sanofi plant from which pseudoephedrine had been successfully diverted for a decade -- was better than living off its golden eggs.
Everson, dressed in black clothing, remained hidden within the facility until approximately 6:20 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007. The robbery was planned to coincide with the beginning of Super Bowl XLI.
Everson telephoned the Sanofi-Aventis security enclosure and asked for the security guard to go to the men's locker room to recover a lost wallet. The security guard declined to go. Shortly afterward, Everson took the guard hostage at gunpoint and handcuffed her to a mechanical chase.
Everson then removed four 50-kilogram drums of pseudoephedrine powder from a secure cage.
But Everson wasn't that smart. He neglected to search his hostage before tying her up:
Everson returned to the mechanical chase in which the guard was handcuffed and discovered her on a cellular telephone with a 911 operator. He took the guard's electronic badge and cell phone and returned to the location of the pseudoephedrine drums.
Authorities later found the pseudoephedrine at one of the conspirator's homes, and the rest is history. At his plea hearing, Everson had this to say:
"I done wrong."

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